Social Media struggles continue this week with LinkedIn getting hacked, Twitter being accused of getting hacked, and Facebook still struggling with just about everything. All of these tribulations have created an understandable suspicion amongst smaller business owners and personal users.
LinkedIn seems to be the result of a great idea in bad timing. Unfortunately an independent business might find it hard to justify using LinkedIn when Google has now created Google+, which is attracting the one thing that LinkedIn had over everyone else, a professional and defined demographic.
Apparently LinkedIn claimed roughly 6.5 million accounts that were hacked, passwords and usernames together. What started out as a great theory has now been flooded with college graduates claiming to be CEO’s of companies that are conveniently named after them along with recommendations from even lesser qualified people.
I do know of companies that still use the site to find potential employees but as far as B2B relationships go it now shares its top spot with Facebook and continues to fall. It seems the site caught on to its growing number of fictitious resumes and created the opportunities for referrals. Great idea until you find yourself asking your friends for one, which more often than not will be invasive and is still a poor sense of a person’s abilities (“but my mom says I’m good!”).
Facebook fails again
It seems like each day I either hear about one of two things, either Facebook is falling apart again in the stock market or they’ve come out with a new feature. The latest one is scheduled posts where you can actually create posts to be posted later. This is all great and convenient for the administrator but fails to complete the purpose of social media, engaging the customer.
When you want to pull in new fans, especially converting them to customers, you have to give them a reason to return and share your site/product. They’re not going to do that if they feel they’re talking to a machine. Personalize and brand at every opportunity that you have! Do what you can to set yourself apart and yes, it’s going to take work.
Unfortunately Facebook is also trying to charge you for promoting your posts. It’s getting to a point where you can either go broke trying to promote your site or go broke creating content that will hopefully be shared and spread your product via word of mouth. Either way automating posts and impersonalizing any of your social sites is not the way to go.
As social media grows the better platforms become more and more obvious. In order to have a successful business these days you need customers, big surprise. The problem lies in how companies are still trying to obtain fans instead of customers, the consumer has moved on from archaic methods but most businesses today are still stuck in the era of 8 tracks and typewriters.
For example, 25% of advertising today is still done through print whereas only 7% of customers notice the print ads. In other words, companies are paying billions of dollars each year to have expensive graphic designers create fancy booklets and advertisements for overpaid marketing directors to send to areas where people of their demographic can throw them away accordingly.
Right now TV is definitely the main source of advertisement for both the consumer and the company but with DVR starting to take over and all of the opportunities to watch shows online, you might be looking elsewhere to pull in an audience. Radio spots have now fallen of the charts with programs like Pandora and Spotify running the air waves. The lowest as of right now is mobile but it can only be a matter of time before marketers make their way into the cellular field as well.
Twitter is always nice to have but there’s no memory with twitter. If you tweet something, it only gets read by those currently on twitter or those who are only following a couple people. Twitter may have the second largest number of followers for any social site but only 21% of those users are active, 34% have never even sent out a single tweet. I can’t stress how important it is to know your demographic and find the best network to reach them!
Content. Make content that beats other peoples content so that your content can leave people beyond just content with your content. In other words, now, more than ever, the content you post on your social sites is becoming the only opportunity you have to gain customers. The audience will move faster than your advertisers so the best and pretty much only thing you can do to stay on top is by consulting your demographic. The best way, and in my opinion, really the only way to do that? Social Media!